Tere khushboo mei
basey khat mai jalata kaise
Pyar mei dubey hue
khat mei jalata kaise
Tere haathon ke likhe
khat mai jalata kaise
Leaving Sunil to contemplate'Khanak returns to her bedroom to see Shaan coming out of the bathroom and giving her a huge grin..she smiles back..
Khanak (taking the towel from his hand): Kab aaye aap?
Shaan (holding back the towel with mischief in his eyes): Kabse tumhari raah dekh raha hoon..kahan thi aur kya kar rahi thi..?
Khanak (pulls the towel): Aap ko kya lagta hai, khichdi sirf aap hi pakka sakte ho??
Shaan (lets go of the towel with a little irritation): Come on Khanak tumhare yeh khana vana banana aur kitchen ka kaam kab khatam hoga yaar
Khanak (takes the towel and starts to put it away): arrey aap fikar kyun karte hain,,mujhe to lagta hai ki kaam ban gaya
Shaan: Acha tho ab no more kitchen 'ab sirf pyaar hi pyaar ..fantastic!!(clapping his hands and lying down on the bed)
Khanak: Bas aapko thodi si madat karni padegi'
Shaan: (to himself with a wicked grin) Kitchen mein koochie koo!!,. (turning to Khanak): 'lekin Harilal aur Dharam hamesha mandhrate rehte hai yaar
Khanak: Tho kya hua'who gair thodi hai'lekin phir bhi'Dharam Khusboo bhabi ko shopping leke jaane bolti hoon aur Haribha ko sabjee lane'aur baaki sab main dekhloongi'aur aap kya karenge??'
Shaan: main kya karoonga ka kya matlab'.(pulling her towards him on the bed and with a soft voice)'main' tumhare.. saath. yahaan'...
Khanak (pulls herself from his grip and stands):'.arrey burdthal'mera matlab hai aap ke pass Aada ko office na jaane ki aur ghar pe rehne ka koyi upay hai?? Taaki mummyji aur woh akele reh sake..
Shaan (suddenly gets up from the bed) : KYA!!!??? Yeh sab kuch mom aur dad ko ghar par akele chodne ki planning chal rahi thi????
Khanak: Haan 'aur nahin tho'aap kya samjhe?? Dekhiye Shantanu'Aada aur mummyji ke beech jo dooriyaan hai woh humein mitane hi padengi....aapne vaada kiya tha ki aap meri madat karenge
Shaan: Khanak..frankly mujhe nahin lagta kuch ho sakta hai..I think it is a lost cause..
Khanak: Aisa mat kahiye'(with a small voice)'kal ko hamare beech kuch hoga ya aa ga yaa..tho kya aap hamare liye ladenge nahi, chahe jis ki bhi galti ho' kya aap'(with tears in her voice)
Shaan: (grabs her and envelopes her tight while speaking into her neck): hamare beech mein jagah kahan hai ki koyi aa sake..main dooriyan banne hi nahi doonga'
Khanak: (smiling softly and looks into his eyes)..aur phir bhi koyi aa gaya tho???
Shaan: (holds her face with both his hands and whispers into her lips)'tho'yaa main marjaaonga ya usse maar doonga'.
A contemplative Sunil finds himself entering the other bedroom..halts a while..wonders..does one need to think so much before talking to his own wife'feels like a first date'how to break the ice'
Sunil enters the room only to find it dark except for the small desk light, he turns towards it..only to see Madhavi asleep sitting there on the chair with her face resting on folded arms on the desk'the light from the desk glows her beautiful face and strands of hair threatening to tickle her nose'he moves them'rests his hand on her cheek for awhile'she stirs'and looks up'
Sunil: Haan main woh (hesitantly looks around) apni appointment diary lene aaya tha'
Madhavi: Oh sure! Please go ahead'(and quickly walks into the bathroom)
Madhavi shuts the door of the bathroom and leans onto the closed door..partly embarrassed and partly'.sad, angry, disappointed, hopeful'how can one have so many conflicting emotions at the same time'not mixed'each distinct and each valid and each independent of each other'.she starts to splash water on her face perhaps hoping to wash them away ..'.
Sunil lifts his diary and notices the opening page of the writing pad'it is smudged heavily 'he can barely make out the writing'few letters..keeps the diary next to it and then looks around confused'switches on the bedroom light, and notices bunch of envelopes and papers strewn on the bed'.'hamare khat''he thinks'.gathers them'and keeps them in a neat pile on the side table'and walks to the bathroom..knocks on the bathroom door'
Sunil: Madhavi'are you okay?
Madhavi (from inside): Of course, tumhe tumhari appointment diary mil gayee..
Sunil: (glances at the diary on the desk): haan'
Madhavi: Kuch aur tha kya''
Sunil (hesitantly): Nahin'bus'(mutters and pauses to himself) Main sirf'tumse main'and walks out of the room'.
Madhavi suddenly opens the door and says:': Main bhi tumse''.
But there is no one to hear her except the two bulbs blaring their light into the room, the neatly stacked letters and the black appointment diary on the desk'..gives in and lies down on the bed forcing herself to sleep'
The morning light wakes Sunil up with a crick in his neck'Khanak enters with tea for her aada..she is a little disappointed to see her Aada in the study, but the letter pad on the floor with a white envelope on top of it suddenly gives her immense happiness. Sunil comes out of the washroom and takes the cup from her, with a thanks..he seems happy she thinks..just then Harilal comes in and gives Sunil two envelopes- one large brown one and one smaller cream one..Sunil opens the cream one first and says aloud'
Sunil: Aaj ki meeting cancel, Hmmm'theek hai'thoda late chala jaata hoon'aaj meri gardan mein thoda sprain bhi hai..holds his neck for a minute.
Khanak: with a small smile: Aada, aap ghar pe aaram kyun nahi kar lete?
Sunil: actually Khanak'waise idea bura nahin hai'(turns his attention to the large brown envelope)
Khanak leaves him with it'steps out of the room'where Shaan waiting for her with raised eyebrows, she gives him a thumbs up'he comes closer, points to his cheek and bends his face forward'she smiles'looks around and gives him a quick peck and runs off'Shaan smiles slowly and peeps into the study to see his father intensely reading some papers out of a brown envelope'.
PART IVB shall be the concluding part of this SS, which shall also feature the last lines of the Ghazal'. I had initially not planned a Shanak scene'but hey'ek shanakisim tho banta hi tha'
Thanks for reading...